Feeding the Homeless

What am I doing here?  A stench flooded my nostrils as I walked down the stairs into the basement of the church.  It was filled with tables of homeless people devouring food. 

What am I doing here?  I was approximately three yards in the doorway (heading to receive instruction) when I was cat-called no less than two times. 

What am I doing here?   I was volunteering a few hours that afternoon to serve dinner to some homeless people in downtown Indy. 

What am I doing here?  Hundreds of homeless people stood in line (for I don’t know how long) to receive a hot meal of ham, potatoes, green beans, and pie.  The layers and layers of clothing they wore could not have provided enough warmth to sustain them in the midst of the frigid temperatures outside.  Their knuckles were tight grasping backpacks, grocery bags, and purses – perhaps their only belongings on earth.  They sported sunglasses, even indoors. 

What WAS I doing there?  Practically speaking, I donated a few hours of my time to wash/dry some dishes.  I needed to be there to far more than they needed me there. 

What WAS I doing there?  Stepping out of my comfort zone, that’s for sure.  I felt out of place.  Unsafe.  Uncomfortable.  I quickly realized how much I prefer to be around people who look, act, think, and dress like me.  It’s easy.  Safe.  Comfortable.

But God doesn’t call us to be safe and comfortable.  He calls us to step out of our comfort zones, to be stretched, to go where others don’t want to go and do what others don’t want to do.

What WAS I doing there?  Serving the least of these.  Being the hands and feet of Jesus.  Offering little more than a warm smile to some homeless people on a cold day.  Perhaps most importantly, shaking my happy little suburban world view.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter –  when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
-Isaiah 58:6-7

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~ by Serena on February 8, 2010.

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